Saturday’s List of 13: Underrated films that pop up on movie channels

I’m not ranking these, just listing them alphabetically; I enjoyed all these movies, most of which only show up on TV now and then.

13) 21— A fact-based story about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for a lot of money playing blackjack, before one casino caught on.

Kevin Spacey teaches the team how to work together to win so much money; Laurence Fishburne is one of the guys trying to discourage card counters from working together.

12) Begin Again (2013)— A disgraced music-business executive (Mark Ruffalo) and a young singer-songwriter (Kara Knightley), new to Manhattan, join into a promising collaboration, using New York City as the background. James Corden is great in this as the young singer’s friend from back home.

11) The Bodyguard (1992)— A former Secret Service agent (Kevin Costner) takes on the job of bodyguard to an R&B singer (Whitney Houston), whose lifestyle is most unlike a President’s.

10) Bulworth (1998)— A suicidally disillusioned liberal politician (Warren Beatty) puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with his voters by talking in rhymes during his interviews/speeches. He then falls for a woman (Halle Berry) who is the hitman that was hired to kill him.

There is a lot that is funny in this movie, and a lot that, 22 years later, still reflects the issues our country is having now. Jack Warden, Don Cheadle, Paul Sorvino; excellent cast.

9) Good Will Hunting (1997)— A janitor at MIT has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Every time I watch this movie, I feel so bad that while Robin Williams made so many people laugh, he died way too early/tragically. He was so funny, such a good actor.

8) The Hangover (2009)— Three buddies wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with no memory of the previous night and with the bachelor missing. They make their way around the city in order to find their friend before his wedding.

They made two sequels; Hangover II isn’t good, it is basically the same script as the original, except it is set in Thailand, not Las Vegas. Hangover III is pretty funny.

7) Last Vegas (2013)— Four senior citizen friends take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal.

Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen; this is an excellent movie, but hasn’t been on in a while.

6) Let It Ride (1989)— A nosy cab driver (Richard Dreyfuss) gets a hot tip on a racehorse and wins big, but he can’t seem to stop gambling, and he has a very good day. Teri Garr plays his frustrated wife.

If you’ve ever hung around a racetrack, this movie, while a farce, will ring a lot of bells; it is very funny. Jennifer Tilly and David Johansen are very good in supporting roles.

5) Little Big League (1994)— The owner of the Minnesota Twins (Jason Robards) passes away and leaves the team to his 12-year old grandson. The grandson fires the overly critical manager (Dennis Farina) and names himself manager, which raises eyebrows.

4) Love Actually (2003)— The lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London.

Hugh Grant is the Prime Minister, Emma Thompson is his sister, Billy Bob Thornton is the US President. If you need a pick-me-up movie, this is mostly it.

3) Molly’s Game (2017)— The true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target. Idris Elba is great as her lawyer. 

This movie actually picks up where the book left off, which is an interesting twist. Kevin Costner has a smallish role as Molly Bloom’s father.

2) This Where I Leave You (2014)— When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.

When my dad passed away five years ago, I came home from the funeral, put the TV on and this was the first thing that was on, which was eerie- I had never seen it. Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Connie Britton, Corey Stoll, a very good cast.

1) Up In the Air (2009)— Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) enjoys living out of a suitcase for his job, travelling around the country firing people, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a potential love interest (Vera Farmiga), and a new hire (Anna Kendrick).

TV highlight of the day: Good night for basketball fans:
— Blue Chips, Hoosiers were both on
— ESPNU ran a bunch of old college games: NC State-UNC, Washington-UCLA were two that I watched. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.